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Plan
Type Charity
Founded 1937, Spain
Headquarters Surrey, United Kingdom
Key people John Langdon-Davies
Eric Muggeridge
Industry NGO
Revenue 474 Million (July 2007 - June 2008)
Employees 6940+ (worldwide) [1]
Website www.plan-international.org

Plan, in some countries known as Foster Parents Plan, is a child-centred development NGO, and works in 49 countries to provide programs to over 1.5 million children and their families. Within 2007/8, it raised in excess of €474m[2]. The charity was originally founded by journalist John Langdon-Davies and refugee worker Eric Muggeridge. The organisation has no political or religious affiliations. It is active primarily in developing countries in Central and South America, Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, with a staff of over 6,000 worldwide, and a further volunteer force in excess of 50,000[2]. Plan operates long-term to address health, education, shelter, and livelihood issues in the communities in which it operates.

Contents

Child Sponsorship

Plan International operates a system of 'child sponsorship'. This is raises 70% of the NGO's income [3]. Benefactors donate money to the NGO, and can correspond with the child they sponsor by mail, thus creating a personal bond between donor and child. Each benefactor is linked to an individual child in one of the countries where Plan works. The sponsorship system is meant to ensure that the sponsors can see what their money is going toward, and know that it is properly spent, as they get direct feedback from the children who benefit from Plan's projects. Sponsorship aims to raise awareness about, as well as funds for, the communities Plan works with.

Internationally, all money that is donated to Plan is split within the 80:20 rule [2]: that is, at least 80% goes to Plan's development objectives, and 20% is spent on fundraising (primarily obtaining new sponsors) and administration. Each fundraising office, or National Organisation, operates independently using different fundraising methods within each country of operation, and some are more effective than others in generating funds. National Offices exist within Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

In the past, controversy occurred as the destination of donated funds was unclear to some sponsors. Donations are used to finance projects that benefit the entire community in which the child lives, and are not given directly to the child. This offers the opportunity of school and health services to the sponsor child, as well as their community. Funds are also directed to staff, buildings and other programmatic works.

Plan in the Netherlands

Plan's fundraising operations in the Netherlands have been subject to controversy -beginning in 1999, as research on 350,000 'adopted' children showed that 4% of these children were dead, missing or non-existent. The same research mentioned that after a thorough search, most of the missing 4% was found [4]. Following this, In 2001 a Dutch government commission concluded that Foster Parents spent only 50% of its money to aid projects and the rest to organisational costs. After publication of this report FPP lost 11,000 donors. In 2005 Plan lost 11% in donations compared to 2004 in the Netherlands, still receiving 44.2 million. Three years before the organisation had been making 74 million in donations.

In September 2006 the Dutch government cut 144 million euros in funding from Foster Parents Plan, approximately one third of its entire budget. The aid organisations eligible for funding are checked for quality of management, community support and ability to fund at least 25% of the projects itself. As a response to this a representative of the organisation said the organisation's existence is not in question.

Recent developments

In 2006, Plan International Australia was appointed the Goodwill Partner of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games

Hear My Voice is a Plan sponsored television show broadcast on Aurora Community Television. It is a series of short films produced, directed and filmed by Plan-assisted youth media clubs in the developing world.

In 2006 Plan UK was awarded the top honour in the category of the ‘top 100 UK fundraising charities’ at the Charities Online Accounts Awards.

On 25 February, 2008, a group of gunmen stormed the Plan International office at Mansehra in Pakistan, killing three staff members and destroying the building in which the office was located.[5]

References

Sources

External links

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